The month of March could easily rival the September-October period in terms of smartphone launches, and as we move towards the second week of March, I can’t help but think of all the smartphone launches that await us the rest of this month. In fact, this very week saw the first major launch of the month in the form of the Redmi Note 10 series from Xiaomi. While it would be callous on our part to pick Xiaomi as the Winner for this week just because they launched new phones, I am compelled to do it because the new Redmi Note 10 phones - in typical Xiaomi fashion - offer incredible value for the money you would spend on them. My pick for the loser of the week - due to the lack of any other contender - is Korean smartphone giant LG, which seems to have cancelled a major smartphone from its popular V series.
But before we talk about the winners and losers for this week at length, let’s take a quick glance at some of the major tech happenings of this week.
It was at the beginning of this week that OnePlus officially started dropping subtle hints about its new OnePlus 9 series devices. We now know that the company will make a major announcement on March 8, 2021. What remains unclear is whether this announcement is indeed going to be about the OnePlus 9 series. We will definitely find out what happens a few hours after you read this article since March 8, 2021, is just one day away.
Just a day before Xiaomi announced the Redmi Note 10 lineup, Realme attempted to steal some of the thunder by scheduling an event just to talk about the camera on its upcoming Realme 8 series. What we know is that just like on the flagship Redmi Note 10 Pro, the Realme 8 series will also get a 108MP camera sensor. But will the rest of the spec sheet match with the incredible specs of the Redmi Note 10 lineup? This is something that I am really looking forward to.
This month is also going to be the month of gaming smartphones. While we know that the Asus ROG Phone 5 is on its way next week, nubia sort of tried to steal some of Asus’ thunder by coming up with the outrageous Red Magic 6, which it launched in China. The hardware specs on this phone are insane. How does Snapdragon 888, 18GB of RAM, 512GB storage and a 165Hz FHD+ AMOLED sound? Will the ROG Phone 5 be able to top this one in terms of outrageousness? We don’t need to wait too long to find that out, thankfully!
The next piece of news was also a contender for being our winner of the week. But since Ben proposed it to me rather late in the day when I had already written half of this article, I am including it here anyway. (Sorry, Ben!). The news pertains to Google, which announced that it would stop using browsing history for ad tracking. In fact, the search giant also announced the way it will track the usage of several of its products. The move is seen as a significant development by privacy advocates around the world and is also seen as a major shift in Google’s business model.
We also had interesting news coming in from the world of wearables, with news of Motorola reportedly working on a smartwatch powered by the Qualcomm Wear 4100 platform and Samsung reportedly coming up with a smartwatch that will run WearOS instead of its own TizenOS.
Winner of the week: Xiaomi for the super cheap, feature-packed Redmi Note 10 series
This week saw Xiaomi announce the global launch of its new budget smartphone lineup for 2021 - the Redmi Note 10 series. For Europe, the Redmi Note 10 series includes four handsets - the Redmi Note 10, Redmi Note 10 Pro, Redmi Note 10 5G and the Redmi Note 10S. The Redmi Note 10 Pro has grabbed attention primarily because this phone offers a 120Hz Super AMOLED panel for less than $300. Even the Redmi Note 10 offers an AMOLED display, and that phone starts at $199. The rest of the hardware specs are great, and with the additional 5G and 10S variants, Xiaomi seems to make sure that its devices cater to a wide spectrum of an audience that may have different demands from a mid-range device.
Loser of the week: LG which seems to have cancelled a successor to the LG V60
My pick for the loser of the week is LG, thanks to recent reports about the company cancelling the development of a successor to the LG V60. This new smartphone which was codenamed ‘Rainbow’, was supposed to be released later his month. However, a leading Korean publication reports that LG has stopped talking about this phone with local carriers. While we can still hope that LG will bring this phone from the dead, there is no denying that 2021 hasn’t been too kind to the South Koran electronics major. In the past weeks, we have already talked about the company reportedly cancelling the much talked about rollable phone. There is also ongoing talk about LG exiting the smartphone business completely. As a long time admirer of LG smartphones, I can only hope that its smartphones division lives on.
Well, that pretty much sums up our Winners and Losers piece for this week. Do you agree with our picks? It’s ok if you don’t but do let me know that in the comments section below!